[Mailman-Users] (pipermail versus ...) To join a conversation fromthe web interface

Mark Sapiro mark at msapiro.net
Tue Sep 16 23:01:28 CEST 2008

Edward Ned Harvey wrote:

>Presently, I'm using pipermail.  I'm open to suggestions.
>This question is pretty complicated, so probably the best answer I could
>possibly get is to know how pipermail gets called, so I can go try and read
>its source and stuff.  So I can dig into it myself.  At present, I have no
>idea what process generates the html from the mbox.

The archiver consists of the modules in Mailman/Archiver/

The start of the process is the ArchiveMail() method of the Archiver
class defined in Mailman/Archiver/Archiver.py.

>That being said, here's the complicated question:
>Suppose there's a list,
>People have conversations going in there.
>A new user comes along, reads the archives, subscribes to the list.
>He wants to jump into an already existing conversation.
>Since he's newly subscribed to the list, he can't go click "reply" in his
>mail client.
>In the pipermail archives, he sees this link at the top of the message:
>	Joe User joe.user at domain.com
>He's going to think, "if I click that link, it's a new message to Joe User."

This depends on the setting of ARCHIVER_OBSCURES_EMAILADDRS. If
ARCHIVER_OBSCURES_EMAILADDRS is Yes, behavior is as below, but if it
is No, the poster's address isn't munged and the link is to the poster.

>If he looks closely, he notices the URL of that link is:
>	mailto:somelist at domain.com?Subject=[Somelist]An Interesting
>He's going to think, "if I click that, it's a new message to the list,
>joining this conversation."
>Neither of his thoughts are right.
>I'm thinking the text of a mailto should always match the url address.
>Otherwise it's misleading, because most people will only see the blue text.
>If you see the link joe.user at domain.com then you think it generates mail
>to joe.user, not to some other address.

Good point.

>I'm also thinking it should include the RE: and mimmick the behavior of an
>actual mail client.
>	?Subject=Re:[Somelist]An Interesting Idea
>I'm also thinking there should be a Message-ID in the "In-Reply-To"

These were bugs fixed in Mailman 2.1.10. Prior to that, the Re: was not
inserted and the In-Reply-To was taken from the In-Reply-To of this
message instead of the Message-ID of this message.

Of course, it's still up to the MUA to honor those fragments in the
mailto URL.

>Is it possible my pipermail is simply misocnfigured somehow?  I'd like to
>see this link, or another link, give users the ability to join a
>conversation, just by clicking something in the web archive.

Much of what you see is governed by the article.html template. See the
FAQ at <http://wiki.list.org/x/jYA9> for more info on templates.

This is the text in the template that makes the link:


The various substitutions are:

%(email_url)s       - the poster's or the list's address depending
                      on ARCHIVER_OBSCURES_EMAILADDRS
%(subject_url)s     - the subject (with Re: in 2.1.10 and +)
%(in_reply_to_url)s - The Message-ID of the archive post in 2.1.10
                      and + (the In-Reply-To in older Mailman)
%(subject_html)s    - the 'html escaped' subject
%(email_html)s      - the 'html escaped' poster's email

If you "know" that ARCHIVER_OBSCURES_EMAILADDRS is Yes, you could
change this part of the template to something like:

       TITLE="%(subject_html)s">reply to this post

Mark Sapiro <mark at msapiro.net>        The highway is for gamblers,
San Francisco Bay Area, California    better use your sense - B. Dylan

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